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Three events for Finland’s sunny nights

By Peter Marten, June 2010

Photo: Santeri HapponenOulu Symphony Orchestra accompanied Charlie Chaplin’s film ”Gold Rush” at the Midnight Sun Film Festival in Sodankylä, northern Finland, on June 12 in 2009.

A northern Finnish summer day lasts 24 hours. Here are a few of the many venues that celebrate in the light nights.

In Finland the sun hardly goes down in June and July – the south enjoys white nights, while the sun doesn’t touch the horizon at all in the north. What are you going to do with all that extra light?

Watch movies

The Midnight Sun Film Festival, now in its 25th year, shows dozens of movies in Sodankylä, Finnish Lapland, with some of the screenings taking place in a tent. First-class filmerati from all over the world – and the occasional mosquito – descend upon this tiny village for a cinema fest like no other.

Midnight Sun Film Festival, June 16–20, 2010

Play rugby

Rugby is a fast-growing sport in Finland. The country’s main open tournament, the Midnight Rugby Tens, attracts teams from as far away as France and Wales from June 18 to 19. Run by Helsinki Rugby Union Football Club (full disclosure: the writer of this article is a member), the tournament provides tons of rugby action, with matches continuing well into Helsinki’s white nights, not to mention great pitch-side atmosphere.

Midnight Rugby Tens, June 18–19, 2010

Listen to music

There’s more than monster rock in Lordi’s hometown of Rovaniemi in northern Finland. And no, we’re not talking about Santa Claus, even though he lives there, too. The Jutajaiset Festival offers traditional-based music from Finland – and this year from Ghana, Zambia and Slovakia, as well. Wimme sings in the style of the Sámi, Lapland’s indigenous people, and Finnish accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen plays in a manner that defeats any and all attempts at classification.

Jutajaiset Folklore Festival, June 30–July 4, 2010


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